I experience racism almost every day at school How do I respond to this? - letsdiskuss
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Sammy Williams

@letsuser | Posted | News-Current-Topics

I experience racism almost every day at school How do I respond to this?

@letsuser | Posted


As a student, I attended high school in an affluent suburb. Most of my peers in high school were White and the rest were Asian so my high school wasn’t really diverse. The student body definitely leaned towards the liberal side so I didn’t experience any blatant instances of racism. Racism here was more implicit and subtle. Most of the time, racism manifested itself in stereotypes. My classmates expected to excel in math because of my Asian heritage (I did do well math, but that was because I worked my ***** in math ever since I was young child). I recall having friends say, “You’re a classic Asian” whenever they saw my exam scores for math. I didn’t really mind, but it was annoying at times.

As a teacher, I taught in a middle school in a less wealthy area of Boston. The students were primarily Black or Hispanic. The teachers had more diversity, but I was one of the few Asian teachers there. Since the middle school students were younger and less experienced, they didn’t hesitate to blurt out their misconceptions. They often assumed that I was married to one of the female Asian teachers just because we were both Asian. This assumption was innocuous so I thought it was pretty cute that they thought that. However, from chatting with the students about how teachers treat them in school, the racism they experience is much more serious and malicious. In charter schools, students of color are dehumanized, treated as mere vessels of funding. Because they are students of color, private donors and teachers treat them as needy, which is condescending to say the least. The intent behind their actions isn’t wrong; It’s the “savior” and self-righteous attitude they adopt that is wrong. For instance, I have talked to other teachers and they say they want to help the students rise out of their “terrible” home situations. I thought it was awful that they would immediate ascribe this deficit to students’ homes. After all, what could well-educated White teachers know about students’ home life and culture? It’s important to realize that racism exists at all levels of education, among students and even among teachers and administrators.


footballer | Posted

Hitting back with rage would likely be the most tempting emotions at such instances. But that would be the worst decision on your part.

I am sorry to hear you have to go through this regularly. And I can only hope this stop soon.

As for what you should do, it depends on the extent of racism you experience and does that put you at risk physically. Here’s how to deal with it:

If it’s casual and unconscious attempts from your own friends, you can calmly express them about how you feel about it and ask them to stop. If they are really your friends, they will take this seriously and stop. If they don’t, start ignoring them and prepare to change your friends circle. Make sure that your parents know about this situation. Be very honest with them.

If it’s coming from bullies at your school, there are few things you can do. You can ignore them and continue with your work. But if it’s going beyond a level that you cannot ignore it, talk to your teachers, principals and parents; don’t talk to the bullies directly, it might make things worse for you. A formal complain to the top level in the school from your parents would be adequate. If bullies don’t stop, they will be expelled. This threat will eventually stop them from being a di*k to you.

If it’s coming from any of your teachers, talk to principals and parents. The teacher will be expelled. Easy.

Tackling racists could be quite difficult. Even more in schools where students have so many other insecurities! It is important that you think things through before acting. You must always keep your parents informed.

Also note, even when the racism isn’t posing any physical threat to you, you should take it seriously. Because it’s mentally disturbing you, and that’s just as bad.


Chartered Accountant | Posted

Respond with smile and wish them Thanks. Believe in yourself. Very soon it will reduce or stop.  


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